GIDC agrees to meet demands of SEZ promoters in return for land
PANJIM: In a significant development, Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has agreed to pay around Rs 300 crore to promoters of special economic zones (SEZ), who have approached the State government with a proposal to unlock 38 lakh sq mtrs of SEZ land, allotted to them more than a decade ago.
Five of the seven SEZ promoters – K Raheja & Corporation, Peninsula Pharma Research Centre, Planetview Mercantile Co, Inox Mercantile Company and Paradigm Logistics & Distribution – who had approached the Supreme Court, have submitted proposals to the government stating that they are ready to hand over the land, provided the government refunds the total amount paid by them to purchase the land along with the 15 per cent interest.
The proposal came following directions from the Supreme Court that during its recent order in February asked both parties – the government and the promoters – to discuss and work out an amicable solution on the matter. The matter has been posted to be heard in July.
Speaking to reporters, GIDC chairman Glen Ticlo said that during a Board meeting last week, it was decided to pay the total amount along with nine percent interest to the five promoters. “The total amount payable comes to around Rs 300 crore,” he said.
Of the 38 lakh sq mtrs land that was allotted to SEZs in 2008, 24 lakh sq mtrs is in Verna, 12 lakh sq mtrs in Keri and two lakh sq mtrs in Sancoale was allotted for SEZ in 2008.
“We have agreed to pay them 9 per cent as against their demand for 15 per cent. The interest that we have earned till date comes to around nine per cent and hence there is no question of paying them 15 per cent,” Ticlo said adding, “We will convey the decision in the matter to the Supreme Court during the next hearing scheduled in July.”
The promoters had approached the Apex Court after the High Court in its judgment in 2010 set aside land allotments to all SEZ promoters dubbing it as illegal. The Supreme Court later in 2011 directed the Centre, State and IDC to maintain status quo on SEZ land allotment.
Following a public protest, the then Congress government in Goa had scrapped all SEZs and withdrawn the State SEZ policy in 2008. Three of the seven SEZs were already notified by the Trade and Commerce Ministry.